Pronouncing Soft Cs In Latin - Same As In Italian ?

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by gardian, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. gardian

    gardian Banned

    English - Ireland
    Ars est celare artem.
    -- 'Ars Amatoria'
    , Ovid.

    Despite having done Latin for 6 years in school, I (ahem . . :confused:) am not sure if the C in celare is pronounced as an Italian 'soft C', (which sounds like an English 'ch') or as an English soft C (which is the same as an English 's') . . .

    My feeling is that it is the former.
  2. Agró

    Agró Senior Member

    Alta Navarra
    That depends largely on the kind of Latin you may want to use. If it is Classical Latin, I was taught that all C's are pronounced as K's, therefore /'kelere/.
    Now, if we're talking about Late or Church Latin, things are probably as you say, like in Italian.
  3. gardian

    gardian Banned

    English - Ireland
    Thanks, Agró.

    It's all coming back to me now. Arx - arcis (arkis).
    So it's hard Cs all the way then.
  4. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    You have a large choice of non classical Latin pronunciation conventions, with Italian, Spanish, French and German as main schools. In addition every European nation has its own conventions partially following one of those main ones. (For example both Polish and Czech convention is based on the German one, but they differ.). See the thread at the Latin Forum, about the national varieties.
    In the German convention ce=tze, and ci=tzi. In French ce=se, and ci=si.
  5. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member


    Quintilian somewhere remarks that the classically "correct" hard c ("Kikero") was in vulgar Latin already softening into the now familiar Italianate sound of "Chichero" - around AD 100. I'm sorry I don't have the time right now to track down the chapter and verse - maybe others wiser than I can help here.

  6. gardian

    gardian Banned

    English - Ireland
    Like the nasal twang starting to fade from the American accent around the 1995 AD, especially for young people involved in IT.

    Thanks for all your pointers on this detail.
  7. relativamente Senior Member

    catalan and spanish
    In very ancient stages of Latin the letter k sounded differently depending on the following vowel. that explains the three letter Q K C being the q followed by vowels o, u, being the k followed by vowel a mostly and sometimes also by e, being the c followed by e or i.Later could have happend a tendence to neutralization of this differences and in consequence the letter k almost dissapeared, remaining almost only in the word kalendae maybe due to its widespread use in inscriptions and documents. It is at least what I guess not anything I read in a trustworthy source. It seems the the different pronunciacion of "ce" and "ci" never desappeared completely, maybe even got stronger with the time between the unlearned "vulgus"

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